And the Year’s Not Over Yet . . .

We’re on super crane watch now. Remember how we followed the I Lift NY‘s journey with escort tugboats Lauren Foss and Iver Foss?

Obama fast-tracked the TZB project/© Janie Rosman 2014

Obama fast-tracked the TZB project/© Janie Rosman 2014

And then we had company.

“At times you can see the river through the cracks of the pavement,” President Barack Obama said May 14 in his 16-minute speech at Sunset Cove Restaurant. “Now, I’m not an engineer, but I figure that’s not good.”

Mr. President, the Thruway Authority spent three-quarters of a million dollars on a deck replacement project.

Further, if the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) expired today, then the Department of Transportation’s power to spend on highway, bridge, and transit projects would have, too. Congress came through after all.

First two support columns for the NNYB's Westchester approach span/© Meredith Zaritheny 2014

First two support columns for the NNYB’s Westchester approach span/© Meredith Zaritheny 2014

Not long after the president’s visit was a June 5 media tour that focused on pile cleansing, capping and installation. On July 31 we saw the first of two floating batch plants, and the most recent (September 10) tour focused on base pier caps and support columns.

Photos from that day are courtesy of Time Warner Cable® News reporter and videojournalist Meredith Zaritheny.

Base pier cap supports 1 column/© Meredith Zaritheny 2014

Base pier cap supports 1 column/© Meredith Zaritheny 2014

“I first heard of the project three years ago, and we just finished the design in June,” Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) President Darrell Waters reiterated during an August 12 historic tour. Two weeks earlier, reporters saw one of the 14-foot thick main span platform that would cover the main span’s steel pilings.

“It’s 360-plus feet long (with) a concrete precast bottom in it that sits over the piles,” Waters explained of the massive 60-foot wide pile cap. Once it’s submerged eight feet into the river and pumped free of water, the piles are sealed, rebar is added, and the cap is filled with 11,000 cubic yards of concrete.

Construction crews hope to set their first piece of steel on the new bridge by the end of the year.

“Between now and then, you’ll see the foundations rising, you’ll see columns coming up to meet these big pier caps we have, we’ll set those, and right after that, we put the bridge spans on it,” he said.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

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